Oct 11, 2018, 4:03 PM ET

Limo in deadly crash had been cited for out-of-service brakes

#

The limousine that crashed Saturday in upstate New York, killing 20 people, had been cited by the State Department of Transportation in March for brake failures, according to inspection results obtained by ABC News.

The citations included “brakes out of service” and "brake connections with constrictions under vehicle," the records show.

When the limousine was re-inspected six months later, on Sept. 4, the state DOT noted its "failure to correct defects on previous inspection report."

A lawyer for the limousine company had said earlier this week that the car had failed the safety inspection over minor faults.

PHOTO: The scene of a deadly limousine crash in Schoharie, N.Y., Oct. 6, 20Peter R. Barber/The Daily Gazette of Schenectady, N.Y.
The scene of a deadly limousine crash in Schoharie, N.Y., Oct. 6, 20

"As we understand right now, the inspections last month were minor things — windshield wipers, a latch on a window that needed to be fixed — and all those things were fixed," lawyer Lee Kindlon, who represents Prestige Limousines, said on "Good Morning America" on Tuesday.

A spokesperson for the state DOT disputed that claim, however, saying the vehicle involved in the Oct. 6 crash had failed the September safety inspection.

"The assertion that the limousine was cleared to be on the road following the September inspection is categorically false," a spokesperson for the state DOT said on Wednesday. "The vehicle was subject to inspections and the owner was warned not to operate the vehicle; the vehicle was placed out of service."

The crash killed driver of the limousine, all 17 passengers, and two pedestrians.

The driver of the limousine, Scott Lisincchia, had previously told his wife about issues with the vehicle, Richard Burke, the family's spokesman, said.

Burke said Lisincchia's wife "told me that he had complained to her regarding the condition of some of the vehicles."

PHOTO: Mourners visit the site of a fatal limousine crash that killed 20 people near the intersection of Route 30 South and Route 30A, Oct. 10, 2018 in Schoharie, New York.Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Mourners visit the site of a fatal limousine crash that killed 20 people near the intersection of Route 30 South and Route 30A, Oct. 10, 2018 in Schoharie, New York.

"In fact, they said that one time he was driving one of the vehicle’s and a muffler fell off with clients in the car and he had to stop the car, get out of the car, remove the muffler and move it to the side of the roadway," he said.

Lisincchia, of Lake George, New York, was not properly licensed to drive a vehicle that could hold more than 15 people, a law enforcement official told ABC News.

Authorities, including the National Transportation Safety Board and the New York State Police, are investigating the crash. The accident was the deadliest transportation accident in the U.S. since August 2009, according to Robert Sumwalt, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board.

Family members of the victims said that the group was headed to a party at a brewery in Cooperstown, about an hour west of Schoharie, when the stretch limo flew past a stop sign and slammed into a parked SUV.

All of the 17 passengers who died were between 24 and 34 years old. The two male pedestrians were 46 and 70 years old, and Lisincchia was 53.

A funeral for the youngest of the victims inside the limo, 24-year-old Savannah Bursese, was set to begin on Thursday at 3 p.m. at the Walrath and Stewart Funeral Home in Goversville, New York, according to ABC News affiliate WTEN.

Her funeral is the first of all of the victims.

PHOTO: Nauman Hussain left, the operator of a limousine company that owned the vehicle involved in a crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York arrives for his arraignment at Cobleskill Town Court in Cobleskill, New York, Oct. 10, 2018.Cindy Schultz/Reuters
Nauman Hussain left, the operator of a limousine company that owned the vehicle involved in a crash that killed 20 people in upstate New York arrives for his arraignment at Cobleskill Town Court in Cobleskill, New York, Oct. 10, 2018.

The operator of the limo company, Nauman Hussain, was arrested on Wednesday in a “controlled traffic stop” because state police feared he was trying to flee, a source told ABC News.

The district attorney said there were suitcases in the car, though Hussain's defense attorney said he feared death threats. Investigators aren’t sure whether to believe that.

Hussain was charged with criminally negligent homicide on Wednesday, police said. He was being charged because he put a defective vehicle back on the road and hired a driver whom he knew was not licensed to drive the vehicle, a source familiar with the matter told ABC News.

Hussain pleaded not guilty and was released on bail on Wednesday night.

News - Limo in deadly crash had been cited for out-of-service brakes

RRelated Posts

CComments

  • Chuck Heston

    Surprised they let him out on bail. I would think for sure he would be a flight risk.

  • Chuck Heston

    This is so sad. How can someone knowingly put peoples lives in danger to make a buck? Hope this guy goes down for this. Too bad the actual owner, his dad, will never set foot in this country again.

  • Sunshine1229

    I don't care how many people the driver was licensed to drive. If the vehicle he is driving is unsafe, that's the only thing that matters imo.

  • ha

    pesky regulations. "get out of the way and let the market thrive"

  • mu tant

    It wasn't the brakes, those looked like some very big-boned, heavyset people. Tragically, they probably were all crushed to death under the collective force of their own incredible body weight. It's never a good idea to stuff that many biggins into such a narrow space like that.

  • molimelight

    My uneducated opinion, from looking at the drawings of the the roadway and the route of the vehicle, is as follows: It looks to me like the brakes failed and he was trying to gain control of it by steering into the parking lot but the inertia overcame that and it went into the embankment. It was the worst possible outcome of a series of events. What gets me is that they were in a different vehicle that broke down and this one was sent to get them and continue on to the brewery.

  • lokay5

    " blah blah blah remove the muffler and move it to the side of the roadway"
    "...to the side of the roadway."
    The roadWAY.
    Not just "to the side of the road".
    Nope. The "roadWAY".
    It's not just "rain".
    It's now "rainFALL"
    Not IN the house.
    Nope.
    InSIDE the house.
    Not just "under" the bridge.
    Nope.
    UnderNEATH the bridge...

    This comment was brought to you courtesy of
    The Department of Redundancy Department

  • Former Earthling

    He'll be in Pakistan by tommorrow.

  • helicohunter

    That's the only way that the severity of the accident makes any sense. Either the driver was sound asleep, or the brakes failed. Even if the driver was distracted, he would have eventually seen that the road ended and hit the brakes. There was no sign that the brakes were applied.

  • mm

    It is like hot dogs in the transportation industry, if you knew what they were made of you would never eat one again. lol

  • KlintzDisqus

    Question: Does an insurance company for a business have to pay when the owner's grossly negligent actions (felonious actions) result in customer deaths?

    Ex: A traveling carnival owner knowingly places a ride into service that a state inspector had tagged with "DO NOT OPERATE".

    Non-commerical auto insurance and homeowners'/renters' insurance have caveats saying the insurance company doesn't have to pay if death/injury occurs during commission of a felony.

    Do business insurance policies have the same types of loopholes?

  • TexWho

    Hussain's defense attorney said he feared death threats ... from his employees ???

  • TJP440

    What amazes me is the judge granted bail ???

  • bb1040

    Headline = "Limo in deadly crash had been cited for out-of-service brakes" But they said nothing in the story about the brakes....Just rehashed the old stuff they already had said...

  • The Terminator

    Well, although it's not written in stone yet. It kind of confirms what most suspected. Brake failure.

    What I find interesting is their lawyer. Who is a well respected lawyer in that area.

    "A lawyer for the limousine company had said earlier this week that the car had failed the safety inspection over minor faults. "As we understand right now, the inspections last month were minor things — windshield wipers, a latch on a window that needed to be fixed — and all those things were fixed," lawyer Lee Kindlon,"

    Mayde I shouldn't be surprised. After all he is a lawyer.

    .

  • Furrmin The Cat

    So far there has been no effort by anyone to even try and provide an answer to what happened. No reports of skid marks or lack of skid marks. The artist renditions makes it look like the care simply went through the stop sign and skidded to a stop. There has to be more.

  • Lotta Numbers

    Wait- they arrest the owner in a "controlled stop" because they thought he was fleeing and had packed suitcases in the car ... then release him on bail??? Oy!